Posts Tagged by crossfit milford

Amanda Allen – Proving Fitness and Well-Being Can Begin At Any Age

What things come to mind when you think of the fittest people in the world?  I would bet that a 43 woman would not be in that list and that’s because you haven’t met Amanda Allen.  Amanda has won the CrossFit Games Masters Division (40-44) for two consecutive years and is here to prove that fitness and well-being can begin at any age.

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Amanda’s story isn’t that of a typical athlete.  After years of struggling with alcohol addiction and depression, she decided it was time to make a change at the age of 34. Amanda dove head first into a new adventure and became a World title triathlete.  From there, she took on the sport of Kneeling Canoeing which had recently become an Olympic event.  She devoted herself to the sport with the hopes of making the Olympic Team and turned CrossFit while training as a way to increase her strength.  She did not make the cut, but the story doesn’t end there.  At the age of 41 with only six months of training under her belt, Amanda qualified for the CrossFit Games and placed 19th among the fittest women in the world, some of which were half her age.  AMAZING.

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Photo Source: Amanda Allen

Amanda has continued to get stronger and better at the sport.  Not only has she won the Women’s 40-44 Masters Division at the CrossFit Games in 2013 and 2014, she signed with the National Professional Grid League team the Philly Founders, which has brought her to the States from Australia for an extended stay.  Since the coach of the Founders is also the Owner and Head Coach at my gym, CrossFit Milford, we have been lucky enough to have had her training here for the past few months.  

Photo Source: Amanda Allen

Photo Source: Amanda Allen

Amanda was awesome enough to sit down with some of the female athletes at CFM to talk about training, nutrition, and overall mental health one Saturday afternoon and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear what she had to say.  She shared her journey to the CrossFit games, training techniques and nutrition regimens.  She talked about the “controlling the controllables” which are basically nutrition, hydration, sleep, recovery and perception.  We learned how to best fuel for workouts, new recovery techniques such as floating, how tracking your menstrual cycle can help improve performance and a ton of other useful information specific to women athletes.

While all of this information was wonderful and what I had expected out of the seminar, I found that what resonated with me the most was Amanda’s outlook on self empowerment and positivity.  We have 100% control over our mindset and how we choose to live our lives, so why not choose a positive outlook.  She reinforced that being selfish isn’t a bad thing and that in order to become successful and truly happy we need to empower ourselves.  We should strive to find inspiration everyday and in turn inspire others.  She has even begun her own “Positivity Project” by writing down 3 positive aspects of her life every morning to get her in the right mindset everyday.  

None of this would have been possible without CrossFit.  Amanda says that it is the most empowering thing she has ever done and sees how it changes lives around the world.  I know it has changed mine.  It has helped Amanda become mentally, emotionally, spiritually and overall physically stronger everyday, and I couldn’t agree more!  

Photo Source: Amanda Allen

Photo Source: Amanda Allen

What a privilege to chat with a professional athlete and feed off of her energy for an afternoon.  While much of her nutrition and competitive training advice was a bit extreme for my goals, her advice on self empowerment and positivity is something that I can start working on right away that will make a HUGE difference in my life.  I am making an effort to fill my life with positive people and to cut out all of the negative shit.  Coming to the realization that being selfish isn’t a bad thing can be difficult to embrace and for others to understand, but you can’t be there for others if you don’t take care of yourself first.  Setting priorities and goals are what got Amanda to the top of her game and if I can harness a fraction of that determination, who knows where I can go!         

To learn more about Amanda Allen, visit her website and her Facebook page.  She also has two books that are on my must read list for the near future: Eat, Perform, Win and The Time of My Life.  But right now, you should check out this great video of Amanda in action as she trains for the 2013 CrossFit Games…

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Events at Days 2 & 3 of the 2014 CrossFit Games Northeast Regional

The CrossFit Games Regional competitions are a grueling experience.  I know how tired and sore I get from just one WOD in a day…I can’t imagine doing multiple ones back to back over 3 days!  That’s why these athletes are so amazing to watch.  Their strength and stamina is very impressive.

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So after an exciting first day, we got up bright and early to arrive in time to watch the Teams compete and cheer for Team CrossFit Milford A!  Events 4 & 5 were back to back and consisted of 50 thrusters, 10-14ft. rope climbs, 40 thrusters, 8-14ft. rope climbs, 30 thrusters, 6-14 ft. rope climbs to be completed in a 10 minute time cap.  In event 4, the women competed with 95 pounds on the bar and the men competed in event 5 with 135 pounds on the bar.  The bar couldn’t touch the ground once a set was started, which made for some interesting pass offs between partners.

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Katie, Liz & Carolyn  of CrossFit Milford A – Event 4 Thrusters

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Katie of CrossFit Milford A – Event 4 Rope Climb

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Matt & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A – Event 5 Thrusters

CFM did awesome in these events with the ladies finishing in 5th and the men in 13th. They seemed pretty stoked with their performance 🙂

Katie, Liz & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A

Carolyn, Katie, Liz & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A

So if those 2 events didn’t wreck their shoulders enough, event 6 was going to be a true test of upper body strength. This was a relay with all team members doing 9-6-3 reps of strict handstand pushups, hang power cleans (160# for men and 110# for women) and over the bar burpees.  It’s an interesting event because the cleans and the burpees and easy for these athletes, but the strict handstand pushups are where the separation occurs.

This is also where one of my favorite events of the day occurred.  Daniel of CrossFit Lindy was so enthusiastically cheering on his girlfriend Ricklynn in her last round of burpees that you can even see one of the coaches laughing…it was great!

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CrossFit Lindy – Event 6 Burpees

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Matt of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Hang Power Cleans

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Liz of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Handstand Pushups

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Katie of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Hang Power Cleans

Another kickass performance from CFM coming in 5th for this event!

We hung around for the rest of the day checking out the vendors, tailgating (a story for another day) and watching the individual men and women compete in events 4 and 5. Similar to event 6 for the teams, event 4 was 21-15-9-6-3 reps of strict handstand pushups, front squats (195# for men and 125# for women) and over the bar burpees. Event 5 was interesting consisting of 10 rounds of 1 legless rope climb followed by a 200-foot sprint.      

One of the highlights was during event 5 of the men’s competition.  All of the competitors that had finished went to cheer on the final athlete who was struggling with the rope climb.  They even ran with him to the finish!  This is what the CrossFit community is all about!    

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Big thanks to my friend Arie for capturing how impressed we all were with this!

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The third day of competition is always the most exciting.  The top heats are competing for those top 3 spots to go to the Games and it is tense!  We were ready…to cheer that is 🙂

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The teams kicked off the morning again with a crazy pairs WOD!  Male/female pairs had to move through stations of 500-meter row while partner completes 125 double-unders (each), 50 deadlifts while partner holds barbell at the waist (275# for men & 185# for women), and 50 toes-to-bars while partner hangs.  The partners couldn’t move on to the next station until the pair before them were finished.  There was a lot going on here! 

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Team CFM on Deadlifts and Row/Double Unders

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Team CFM on all 3 stations

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Team CFM finishing up Deadlifts

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8th Place Finish Group Hug

The final event was a quick one.  Each team member had to complete 49 pull-ups followed by 7 overhead squats at 185# for men and 115# for women.  It was a speedy culmination to a grueling weekend!

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Team CFM finished 5th in the event and 5th overall for the weekend.  It was so impressive to see these people who I see every week at my gym give it their all and finish so strong! Big group hug 🙂

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We stuck around to watch the final women compete before making the drive home.  This is where we saw one of the most performances of the weekend.  Kaleena Laderious, also a CFM athlete, who had been struggling throughout the weekend kicked some major ass in event 6.  I had been excited to see this event since it was probably the most difficult of all the WODs.  

Event 6 was a 50-calorie row, 50 box jump overs at 24 in. for men & 18 in. for women, 50 deadlifts at 180# for men & 120# for women, 50 wall-ball shots at 20# for men & 14# for women, 50 ring dips, 50 wall-ball shots at 20# for men & 14# for women, 50 deadlifts at 180# for men & 120# for women, 50 box jump overs at 24 in. for men & 18 in. for women, 50-calorie rowwith a 21 minute time cap. WHOA.

There weren’t any women in all of the regional competitions that actually finished this event, but Kaleena came close getting to 27 calories of the final row.  Endurance events are her strength and she sure showed it here.

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Close up of Kaleena’s screen

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Kaleena killing that row!

The men and women finished the day with a similar event to the teams, but instead had 64 pull-up and 8 overhead squats at 205# for men and 135# for women.  The top male finished this WOD in 1:38…insane!

What a fun weekend!  These athletes truly inspired me to be a better athlete as well.  The next day I went to the gym and switched my membership from 3 days per week to unlimited.  My goal is to go 4-5 days a week and get in shape from my upcoming event…the Disney Fit Challenge in September!

What was your favorite event during the 2014 CrossFit Games Regionals?

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A Day With Reebok at the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

When Reebok invites you to attend the first day of the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional competition, you think you are the luckiest CrossFitter on the planet.  When they ask for your size to send you a brand new outfit to wear, you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.  Well both things happened to me last week and it was amazing!

The day before the big event, this super rad outfit arrived in the mail!  I received a Reebok CrossFit Perform Tri-Blend CF 74 Short Sleeve Tee, Reebok CrossFit Skinny Capris and a pair of the new Superhero Inspired Reebok Nano 3.0

CrossFit-Games-NE-Regionals-ReebokI had already planned on attending the competition on Saturday and Sunday, but this was an added bonus.  My friend Ashley and I got up at the crack of dawn and drove up to Reebok Headquarters in Canton, MA.  I was supposed to meet representatives from Reebok and four other FitFluential Ambassadors (Allie of Running on Peanut Butter, Jill of BakedFit, Joanna of Baby Gators Den, and Sarah of Ingredients of a Fit Chick) at the main gate at 10am, but had requested to pick up my ticket earlier so I could watch Team CrossFit Milford A compete in the first event at 9:40.  They were more then happy to accommodate that…awesome!

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I’m so glad that worked out because the first event was very exciting to watch!  For teams the event consisted of 15-12-9 reps of muscle ups and clean & jerks at 135# for men and 95# for women.  One male and one female must do each rep count.  The team did great and ended up finishing 4th in the event.

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Next up were events 2 & 3 back to back.  Event 2 was a 1-rep-max hang squat snatch.  In 8 minutes, each member had to attempt their max weight and in only 2 tries.  Carolyn on Team CFM threw up one of the heaviest weights for a female in the team competition with 155#!  However the team fell a bit short overall and ended up finishing 21st for the event. 

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If their arms weren’t tired, they were about to be as event 3 started 2 minutes later with a max distance handstand walk for each team member.  This was a much better event finishing 8th with 515 feet total.

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After the team events were finished, we walked around to check out some of the vendors and then I met up with the rest of the Ambassadors and the Reebok team at noon.  We were originally supposed to meet with Reebok’s VP of Training, but he ended up not being available.  Surprise surprise…we were going to get to meet Christmas Abbott instead!!  You can read all about that awesomeness here. 🙂

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While inside Reebok’s Headquarters for our meeting, we were taken for a quick shopping spree inside the official employee store and got to see some of their amazing facility.  Check out the basketball court and fitness center right in the middle of the building!

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After a quick bite to eat, we headed over to the Reebok CrossFit One box which is for employees only and about a 5 minute walk from the main building.  The exact words that came out of my mouth when I walked in were “HOLY SH*T!”  This place is amazing!  I mean, how could it not be…it’s right on the Reebok campus.  It was huge and had all the best equipment…oh and that long stretch of turf!  I probably wouldn’t mind sled pushes so much if I could do it on that!

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We gawked at the facility for a bit and then got to meet Austin Malleolo who is one of the individual male competitors and head coach at Reebok CrossFit One.  He talked to us a bit about training and competing in the regional competition, and also shared his thoughts on the brand new Reebok Nano 4.0s we was fortunate enough to be wearing.  Actually the entire Reebok CrossFit One team was wearing them!  All he had were good things to say…I’m pretty psyched to get a pair!  

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The Nano 4.0 will be available in July, but guess what…you can create your own custom pair right now!  Check it out here.  

Before heading for a massage to get ready for event 3 that afternoon, Austin was cool enough to get a photo with us.  Seriously nice guy and he ended up finishing 5th overall in the competition…congrats!!

Photo Credit: Allie Lewis

Photo Credit: Allie Lewis

We were then left to watch the rest of the games and enjoy the day.  We caught event 3 for the men and women which was called Nasty Girls V2.  This gruel WOD was 3 rounds of 50 one-legged squats (pistols) alternating legs, 7 muscle ups and 10 hang power cleans at 175# for men and 115# for women…killer!  Sheila Barden ended up breaking the event record by 12 seconds…it was so cool to watch!

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What an amazing day!  I can’t thank Reebok and FitFluential enough for this super rad opportunity!!  Stay tuned for more coverage of the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional competition including the events on days 2 & 3 and some of the crazy shenanigans that go on when you get six CrossFitting chicks together for the weekend 🙂

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Well That Was Pretty Awesome!

I went to CrossFit today less than enthused due to some tight hips, sore ankles and an overall feeling of lethargy due to the mass quantities of bad (but oh so good) food I have consumed over the past few days.  Little did I know that I would be working out right next to one of the fittest women in the world, Kaleena Ladeairous.

Now I’ve known that Kaleena works out at my gym because the owner is her trainer, but I haven’t had the privilege to see her work out in person.  I had watched her place 3rd at the CrossFit Games Northeast Regionals back in May and then cheered her on at the CrossFit Games a few months later, but watching her close up was damn impressive.   

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Besides being thoroughly impressed by her continuous string of muscle ups (something I don’t think I will EVER be able to do), I was actually fascinated to see her struggle.  Ok, not in a malicious way, like “hey I like to see people go through hard times” but in a motivating way.  I might never be able to do the workouts that these elite athletes do, but to see that it’s not easy for them is kind of nice.  I go to CrossFit multiple times a week, put in 110% of my effort and many times I am brought to my knees by a workout that I thought would be easy for me.  I leave defeated and questioning my abilities.  But knowing that even the best of the best have those same struggles, yet keep moving forward towards their goals, makes me feel even stronger.     

And here is why CrossFit is awesome.  I can’t keep up with the fasted runners or have the skill to even practice with professional athletes.  But with CrossFit, I can put in the work side by side the fittest in the world and still just as strong and powerful as they are.  Yes I might not have the same amount of weight on the bar and I might not be able to row as fast, but I am doing the same movements and that is pretty rad!

So thanks Kaleena and thanks to all of the athletes who push themselves to the limit everyday.  You are inspiring people like me who love the sport and want to get in the best shape of our lives.  You challenge yourself and therefore encourage us to do the same.  Thanks for turning what I thought was going to be crappy workout today into and awesome experience!

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That Day Everyone Got A PR!

So apparently it’s testing week and I LOVE testing week.  It really let’s you see how far you’re progressing and most times it’s a guarantee you’ll get a good PR.  Last night, this bell was getting a workout!

PR Bell

Monday I had that awesome 13# front squat PR and my legs were feeling a bit sore, so I was hoping last night’s dead lifts weren’t going to be a problem.  My prior PR was 210# and that was tough, but I was going for it.  I started building up to that 1RM (4 x 135#/3 x 165#/1 x 185#/1 x 205#) and all was good.  Dead lifts are probably my favorite lift because I can put these thick thighs to some good use!

I added 10# and was able to get 215# with a little difficulty, but I wanted more.  So I went for 220# and at first really didn’t think I was going to get it, but Kat and Coach Dave were screaming at me to get it, so I blocked out those bad thoughts and pushed through.  HELL YEAH!  I dropped the bar, high-fived Dave and ran to that PR bell 🙂

Not great form...need to work on that lumbar curve

Not great form…need to work on that lumbar curve

Nailed it!! 220# PR Baby!

Nailed it!! 220# PR Baby!
Ignore the ridiculous face please…

Now it was Kat’s turn!  She had actually never tried for a 1RM before but figured it was going to be somewhere around 245# or so.  She did my 220# with ease and Dave started pushing her to keep going.  The coaching is really what makes CrossFit unique.  We have great coaches at CFM and Dave in particular has been incredibly helpful and always encourages us to push ourselves with more weight.  He sees that we can do it and just cheers us on to get there.  It’s also very comforting to know that someone is keeping an eye on you during the heavy lifts.

Dave pushing Kat to pick that bar up!

Dave pushing Kat to pick that bar up!

Oh and look at my girl Ashley getting to a 158# dead lift in the top left of that photo…that’s a 30# PR!!  GO ASH!  Kat kept building on those dead lifts and skipped the next skill set to find out what her 1RM was.  Girl got to 275#…beyond amazing!!  She rang that bell with pride and I couldn’t be more proud.  So cool to watch!

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Setting up…

GET IT GIRL!!

GET IT GIRL!!
Actually I think this was around the 250# mark…there was a lot more weight on that bar

I’d say that the majority of the class got a PR last night and the energy was so exciting!  Our other coach for the night, Deb, was encouraging everyone and yelling at people to get those maxes!!  After the skill work, it was time for THE WORST WOD EVER!  I was sure that if I was ever going to puke in a class, that was going to be it.  Here was the damage:

3 rounds for time: 500m row, 20 dead lifts (93#), 15 burpees

For time workouts are always horrible because you are pushing yourself to the limit to get done as fast as possible and who am I kidding…not finish last!  I finished with a not very impressive time of 18:04, but I finished.  Deb was right there with me for my last burpees pushing me to get it done…man did I need that.  Those burpees are no joke and they sure do get you dirty!

Dirty Burpee Knees Yes, I'm wearing pants (no I'm not...)

Dirty Burpee Knees
Yes, I’m wearing pants
(no I’m really not…)

So there…proof that FIT REALLY DOES HAPPEN!  Remember all those “I Can’t” thoughts?  Well it’s days like this that I like to keep in the arsenal of kick ass days to remind myself that I CAN!

Sweaty & Happy

Sweaty & Happy

These days are also great because you can go home and eat ALL the food without any guilt.  🙂

Feed Me!!!

Feed Me!!!

What are your GREAT successes in the gym?

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